|The Stranglers - 'Decades Apart' (EMI)|
|Written by Dom Daley|
|Friday, 19 February 2010 11:43|
What can be said about the Men In Black (no not Tommy Lee-whats-his-face and Will Smith, JJ Burnel and co) that hasn't already been said? Nothing I don't suppose, but I'll let it be known here and now that, whilst not being the biggest Stanglers fan in the world, I've seen them a few times and enjoyed every gig but not kept up to what they've been releasing for some years.
Anyway, what you have here is 35 tracks spread over two discs. You might be asking yourself the same question I did, why another 'Best Of 'album? I'd already got 'Peaches' and the 'Best Of', but I suppose where this differs is it doesn't just focus on the Hugh Cornwell era of the band and, considering they've been a proper band in every sense of the word since he left - which just happens to be bloody donkey's years ago anyway - it is nice to see the 'New Guys' get some of the limelight.
All the usual suspects are here and if you're not familiar with The Stranglers work then this would do you nicely; 'Grip', 'Peaches', '96 Tears', 'Nice 'n' Sleazy' and the smash hit 'Golden Brown' are all present and correct but it's some of the new tracks that interest me. Opening track 'Retro Rockets' and 'I Don't See The World Like You Do', with Jet Black creeking into his 70's, it's incredible to think this band who formed in the mid 70's have had over 20 top 40 singles and 17 top 40 Albums. If you want to check 'em out, because for some reason you'd missed them, then this is a fine place to start - oh and those two new tracks are quality with JJ Burnel's throbbing bass still present and correct. Long live the Stranglers, I say.
I always remember being hypnotised by their version of 'Walk On By' - I must have played that track for about a week non stop when it came out; why I dunno nor do I know why I remembered such a useless piece of information but it is a great version and, as you'd imagine, it is on this release as well.
Always falling between genres, The Stranglers weren't really part of the punk pioneers set with the Clash, Damned and Pistols and they were way too previous for the post punk of Elvis Costello and co, even if they did go heavy on the keyboards and always had a dark edge. If their output is too daunting for you to get a grip of, then this will do very nicely. With so many peaches on show there is something here for everyone.